George Brooksbank: Hustling to grow an exceptional fund management business

10 Most Inspiring CEOs Making a Difference in 2021

A good leader is a person who takes a little more than his share of the blame and a little less than his share of the credit. Some believe that the journey to success is easy if you are lucky, while there are some self-motivated leaders who teach us that anyone can reach the peak of success as long as you have the determination and courage to overcome obstacles. One such motivational leader is George Brooksbank – CEO of Fairway Capital Ltd.

After the failed attempt of wanting to be a professional sportsman (cricketer) – which was his long-lived dream; George started working at the age of 19 and attended night school after work to obtain his degree. As Winston Churchill said “Success is not final and failure is never fatal”, George believes that one learns more from a loss than a win, whether it’s sports or business.

You are in control of your life, it is not in control of you

Leading a company to success is not an easy road to take, but George was determined to take control of his own destiny. No matter how good he was at his corporate job, he states he had little control over the direction of the business and the remuneration was not fairly proportionate to what he achieved. George truly believes that challenges make us stronger; whether in business, personal life or sports, one definitely learns more from a loss than a win as the loss forces us to reflect on why and find solutions to it. It is also how one responds to challenges and how determined we are to overcome them that shows how much we believe in the product and ourselves. “Anything is possible. It just requires dedication and a lot of hustle”, he says. He did have quite a few setbacks early on when launching his first fund – investors had concerns over ‘first fund’ and the fund-raising strike rate was very low. But his determination and faith in himself, gave him the will to hustle and he pushed his way through.

Not Your Regular Fund Management Company

Fairway Capital specialises in Real Estate but also has some exposure to the tech sector. Its funds are Jersey based, regulated by JFSC. Funds usually have a bad reputation as not many deliver what they initially promote, however, Fairway Capital overcomes such issues by protecting the downside and guarantees liquidity. They do so via a Put Option with a third-party financial group essentially indemnifying the end value of the assets whilst providing a guaranteed exit. George believes that no Funds have provided such guarantees before.

Their vision is to simply provide investors with a professionally managed means of accessing restricted markets in tax efficient structures with guaranteed liquidity and downside protection. Integrity is a cliché principle used by many, but the company believes that providing investors with clear sight and access into inner workings ensures complete transparency, resulting in long meaningful relationships. George’s future plan for Fairway is to grow the business and expand further into the technology sector, which is growing exponentially, whilst maintaining a strong holding in Real Estate, which underpins any reasonable investment portfolio.

Staying true to his vision and hustle, George has truly grown his company specialising in opportunistic real estate investments. Fairway’s financial strength, experience, and investing acumen enables the firm to diligently evaluate and close promptly on investment opportunities.

The Growth and Responsibilities of a Tenacious CEO

George passionately paved his way through the corporate world by working and attending night school at the age of 19. He is persistent to grow his vision by persevering through stormy situations by taking a leap of faith, hustling through all the odds. He launched a Fund in the eye of a storm on the 17th of March 2020, the day the UK went into its first lockdown, betting against his consensus and being right.

Explaining his responsibilities as a CEO, George says, “I run the business, chair the acquisitions committee making the final decision as to what is bought or not, speak to existing investors daily and lead the fund raising.” Not one day is the same in the life of a CEO and this is no different as George is constantly on the move at meetings, reviewing opportunities, road showing a Fund / investment opportunity, etc. He feels fortunate that his work takes him to various parts of the world, and he gets to meet some great people along the way. Because of his travel, family & sports commitments, he has to work unconventional hours but enjoys the flexibility and unremitting hustle.

Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create

“Life is a juggling act with five balls you’re trying to keep in the air; work, family, health, friends and integrity,” says George. He further explains that work is a rubber ball that will always bounce back, the other four are made of glass – if you drop one, it could get damaged or even shatter.”

The key principle of Fairway is – Get the job done! They don’t have set office hours like a 9 to 5 or a restricted holiday leave. Ensuring everyone has flexibility to come and go they wish provides for a better working environment. Those that are driven with a good work ethic thrive in this kind of an environment. George has personally worked like this for 12 years and believes it’s more relevant now than ever in this post Covid era.

George’s personal mantra that he has lived off ever since he heard it is inspired from a quote by an Australian cricketer early in the 1999 World Cup. He even has this quote printed. The quote says “Believe in yourself and your plan. Say not I cannot, but I can. The prizes in life will fail to win only if you doubt the powers within,” he concludes. In 1999 during the World Cup the Australian team were down and out, but they went on to win it against all odds.